Gayle M Irwin

Gayle & Jeremiah,
her rescued shih tzu.

Author Collaboration: Comfort, Courage, and Community

Jan 24, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin

We call ourselves the Central Wyoming Women’s Author Collective, a group of six women authors living in Casper, Wyoming (and occasionally one who lives in Cheyenne joins us). We conduct book signings together and we’re part of the same author’s group that meets monthly. We’ve done Zoom readings and programs as well. We challenge one another, encourage each other, and promote one another. I love this group of women!


There are many ways authors can, and do, collaborate. Anthologies are a great example. Liz Isaacson, a sweet romance author I admire, teamed up last year with several other sweet romance authors for a special collection titled Christmas Wishes and Cowboy Kisses; Ginger Ring who helps organize Wild Deadwood Reads collaborated with other authors who attend the annual June event, to create and publish Getting Wild in Deadwood; Eliza Boyd, another sweet romance author I admire and whom I’ve hosted on my blog and written about her books, joined with another sweet romance author last year and released a Christmas story collection that benefits a charity – the book is called Let Every Heart.


Recently, Eliza invited me to join a spring sweet romance anthology that will also benefit a charity. I’m working on that story now, placing a thirty-something woman in western Montana at the farm she inherited from her grandparents, much to the chagrin of her father who pushes to sell the land and bank the money. A wildlife biologist will come alongside her as he has fond memories of the farm and her grandparents. I look forward to being part of this wonderful project with Eliza and other sweet romance authors!

Chicken Soup for the Soul books are another example of collaboration. The plethora of books since the first one released more than 20 years ago provides writers who don’t know each other opportunity to partner in a collection of stories related to a specific topic: parenting, pets, and purpose, among them. I’ve had stories published in books for moms, about America, pets, and faith. The writers and the publishers work together to create and promote a great book … and therefore, we help each other through those endeavors.


Today, the publishers released Chicken Soup for the Soul: Lessons Learned From My Dog. I join 100 other writers in this collaborative project, sharing stories about our dogs and what we’ve learned from them. This is my 8th story in eight different Chicken Soup books, and I’m humbled and grateful to be part of these delightful collections. As writers, we join with the publishers to promote and talk about the book, and later this week, we’ll join in a Zoom event to meet one another, encourage each other, and share stories about our pets and our writing journeys. I’m looking forward to this special event!


I often collaborate with authors in the sweet romance genre or the children’s book genre to promote books through For example, this month, I’m part of Tender Tuesday, a sweet romance book promotion, and Learning Adventures: Children’s Books, a promotion of children’s books that engages kids in activities, including exploring nature and learning science, culture, and the alphabet. Next month, I’ll join in other sweet romance book promotions. Through these opportunities, I help my readers find new books and authors and I am introduced to the other participating authors’ readers.


Writers have so many opportunities to partner and collaborate, whether with other authors in an anthology collection, with book signings, or through promotional sites like BookFunnel and StoryOrigin. We also have opportunities to interact with one another and with each other’s readers, in person or virtually, conducting workshops, webinars, and promotions and hosting one another on our blogs.


Authors may write alone, in home offices, at cabins, or the corner of coffee shops, but we dwell in community, offering comfort and courage through collaboration.